Aiken County School District administrators will present a preliminary 2014-15 budget to School Board members at a meeting on Tuesday, April 15.
The meeting will be held at the School District office, 1000 Brookhaven Drive, at 7 p.m.
The preliminary budget, currently, has no changes in the District's operating and debt service millage rates. That means there would be no property tax hike, pending Board members' approval.
Current budget numbers are based on the S.C. House of Representatives proposed budget, the administrators said in a statement with the budget document.
General fund revenue through the state's Education Finance Act will increase – in part by a change in the base student cost, a per-student allocation, from $2,101 to $2,120.
However, the general fund will reflect expenditures as well – a step increase for teachers, increases in health insurance premiums, retirement contributions and charter school allocations. A step increase allocates additional funding based on a teacher's most recent year of experience.
The state legislature determines these adjustments. The S.C. House has approved these changes, but the Senate has yet to debate the budget draft.
In other business:
• District administrators will discuss a strategic plan, currently underway, that looks at goals for student achievement, teacher quality and school climate improvement. The District is required to update its plan every five years.
• Joy Shealy, the middle school academic officer, will present an update on middle school initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math – also known as STEM.
• Carpet Creations of Aiken is the low bidder for three carpet installations at Gloverville Elementary School, New Ellenton Middle and Silver Bluff High School. The School Board had budgeted $380,000 for the project through the District's five-year facility improvement plan.
• Bids for new roofing projects will be at the District office on Wednesday, April 16, at 2 p.m. The Byrd Learning Center – the former Byrd Elementary School – is scheduled to get a new roof. A separate bid is sought for selective roof repairs at Belvedere Elementary School, Aiken Elementary School and North Augusta Elementary School. The District has a roofing project budget of just more than $3 million.
• Aiken County companies and a service organization will provide 10 donations for area schools.
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.